‘Super mom’ Sherri Papini sentenced to 18 months in prison for California kidnapping hoax

Redding area mom Sherri Papini leaves a Sacramento courtroom Sept. 19, 2022 after her 2016 disappearance while jogging led to fears she had been kidnapped.

Calling her a manipulator and habitual liar, a federal judge on Monday sentenced Sherri Papini to 18 months in prison, ending a six-year saga that began when the Redding-area mom faked her own kidnapping and then shocked the world when she returned three weeks later with an outlandish tale of being abducted at gunpoint by two Latino women.

Inside the federal courthouse in Sacramento, Senior U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb called Papini a “manipulator” who lied to police, lied to her own family, lied to her community and then lied to her psychiatrist hundreds of times over. He said he had no doubt she would have continued to lie if she hadn’t been caught.

He said Papini needed to be punished to deter other “copycat” criminals.

“We have to send a message that crime doesn’t pay,” Shubb said.

Papini’s attorney, William Portanova, had argued for a one-month prison sentence, with seven more in home custody.


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